Cosmophobia

By Phil Plait | February 3, 2010 2:09 pm

Apropos of my recent post showing a Hubble image of two asteroids colliding, the website Word Spy just happened to have a funny choice for their word of the day: cosmophobia, "the strong and irrational fear that in the near future the earth will be destroyed by some cosmic event."

Personally, I figured it’s really for people who don’t like vodka, triple sec, cranberry and lime juice all mixed together, which is silly. Unless it’s headed for you at 30 km/sec. Because that’ll give you a pretty wicked hangover.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, DeathfromtheSkies!, Humor
MORE ABOUT: cosmophobia

Comments (21)

  1. Matt G.

    A bit of pineapple juice really takes the edge off a cosmo for all you cosmophobics out there.

  2. IVAN3MAN AT LARGE

    I always thought that cosmophobia — Firefox spell-check suggests Cosmopolitan(!) — is the fear of women’s magazines! :P

  3. Jim

    Cosmophobia, an irrational fear of Kramer.

  4. The drink you’re thinking of, Phil, is the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. Drinking it is like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick… moving at 30 km/s.

  5. Jole

    Jim, you beat me to it.
    Perhaps it’s the fear you have while waiting to hear what Michael Richards is going to say next…

  6. Brian

    I thought cosmophobia was the fear of popular science shows on public television.

  7. I have a fear about a watermelon spiked with Eveclear flying toward my head. What is that called? Clear Channel?

  8. amstrad
  9. Rift

    What’s the weak and rational fear that in the far future the earth will be destroyed by some cosmic event called?

  10. Tom Jones

    You know what really gives you a wicked hangover? 2 bottles of Jaegermeister, that’s what.
    I drank that S— in 1977, never again!

  11. Jon Hanford

    “What’s the weak and rational fear that in the far future the earth will be destroyed by some cosmic event called?”

    For some here on Earth, Reality. :)

  12. allium

    Semi-on topic; something blowed up real good over Ireland:

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0203/meteorite.html

  13. mike burkhart

    maybe it the result of decades of scifi that has created this phobia (strange I don’t apper to have it despite likeing scifi most of my life)

  14. Someone should write a book about all the possibilities of cosmic death, just to allay our fears…

  15. jcm

    @14: Buzz Parsec

    There is such a book. But, I’ll the man tell you about!

  16. Whenever my Inner Classicist sees “cosmophobia,” he thinks it means “fear of order” or “fear of the cosmos.”

    “What’s the weak and rational fear that in the far future the earth will be destroyed by some cosmic event called?”

    Telemellontocosmicocatastrophophobia.

  17. R-man

    I was browsing the intertoobs the other day and stumbled upon the Youtube channel of the (un-caped) crusader of skepticism – Captain Disillusion.

    In his recap of the TAM7, I spotted a stack of certain books, and a certain Bad Astronomer.

    Just letting you know.

  18. @12. allium Says:

    Dr. Plait has said as the article you linked to that things tend to slow down as they fall to Earth. That’s clearly true, but then the part, “it was unlikely to harm anyone” seems kind of a stretch to me.

    I can drop a small rock off a bridge and harm somebody and it hasn’t even reached terminal velocity.

    There have been several instances where things went through several layers of roof and ceiling which tells me there’s plenty of velocity to do more than just harm somebody.

    Ok… back to the previously scheduled topic…

  19. 14. Buzz Parsec Says:
    February 3rd, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Someone should write a book about all the possibilities of cosmic death, just to allay our fears…

    —————————-

    I think a competent astrologer could do it. :D

  20. Personally, I would define “cosmophobia” as, “Fear that your science is more real than my mythology”

  21. I think that both a comet strike and the consumption of cosmopolitans can lead to the use of statements like “blasted out of existence.”

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